INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - After over a year in the making, the Huntington University bowling teams made HU history this past weekend by competing in their inaugural bowling tournament, the Storm Western Shootout at Western Bowl in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The format of the tournament included six regular team games on Saturday and 16 Baker games on Sunday. A Baker game is one ten-frame game bowled by five rotating team members. Bowler one bowls frames 1 and 6, bowler two bowls frames 2 and 7, bowler three bowls frames 3 and 8, bowler four bowls frames 4 and 9 and bowler five (often referred to as the anchor) bowls frames 5 and 10.
The Huntington women's team finished 11th out of 26 teams, competing against a field of 173 bowlers from around the Midwest.
The all-freshmen squad, consisting of Stephanie Misamore, Emily O'Leary, Tiffany Walther, Eleni Newsome,Ayla Yeiterand Casandra Griffith, sat in ninth place after Saturday's round posting team scores of 810-879-769-836-791-834 and went on to finish the shootout with a two-day score of 7401 pins.
Based on Saturday's six games, four Foresters finished in the top 50 individually. O'Leary turned in a 32nd-place-finish with a 169.5 average. Stephanie Misamore finished 34th for HU with a 169.1 average while Griffith and Yeiter posted a 166.7 average (38th) and 165.1 average (45th) respectively.
Newsome averaged 152.5 over four games while Walther bowled a 142 for two games.
Robert Morris (IL) won the tournament with a total of 8370 pins. Rounding out the top ten included Marian (8235), St. Ambrose(8190), Notre Dame College(8136), Robert Morris-Peoria (8005), Victory (7633), Ball State (7598), Notre Dame College JV(7570), Bethel (TN) (7473) and Ohio State(7439).
The Foresters finished ahead of varsity teams from Alma, Lindenwood-Belleville, Morehead State, Elmhurst, Robert Morris-Springfield, Robert Morris-Lake County, IU, Rock Valley, Cumberland, Eastern Michigan and Northern Kentucky and JV teams from Marian, Robert Morris (IL) and Lindenwood.
The young Forester men's team made up of senior Bryan Myers, sophomore Tyler Neff and freshmen Kris Kasson, Connor Brown, Derik Heinold and Addison Trump finished 33rd out of 37 teams with a two-day total of 7242 pins.
Amongst a field of 233 bowlers, Brown averaged a 195.3 with a game-high of 233 on Saturday to finish 21st overall. Kasson turned in a 52nd-place-finish with a 180.6 average while Neff averaged 167.8 for 84th place. Other Saturday scores included Myers (138 average for four games), Trump (121 average for five games) and Heinold (105 average for three games).
Coach Bischoff is excited to see how his men's squad progresses. "The men's team has three bowlers with lots of tournament experience and three that don't have as much experience so there is a lot of potential and opportunity for them going forward throughout the season.
"Overall it was a great first outing for both teams and I'm very proud of them. All of them did a great job of representing Huntington University. They couldn't wait to bowl, compete and make history and they were all very anxious and excited.
"I know nerves played a small role this weekend. Spares are key to bowling and being competitive. Both teams missed quite a few easy spares this weekend, which probably cost each team at least three or four places in the standings if not more. We will keep improving as the season goes on and work on those opportunities that will make us better."
In addition to being the first season of competition for the Foresters, there were plenty of other "firsts" this past weekend. Neff and Griffith each led off for their respective teams and rolled the first ball in a competition.
Neff also struck on his initial ball making him the first HU bowler in program history to roll a strike. Yeiter, HU's anchor bowler, threw the first strike for the women in the first frame. Ironically, both Neff and Yeiter were the first bowlers to commit to bowl for HU.
Griffith and Heinold were the first HU bowlers to pick up a spare, both in the first frame. Kasson made history by recording the first 200 game with a 209 in his first game while Yeiter logged the women's first 200 game with a 227 in her fourth game.
The Foresters have a two-week break before they are back in action on October 27-28 for the Boilermaker Classic.
Pictured (left to right) in front row: Cassandra Griffith, Ayla Yeiter; middle row: Tiffany Walther, Stephanie Misamore, Elieni Newsome; back row: Bryan Myers, Connor Brown, Kris Kasson, Tyler Neff, Derik Heinold, Addison Trump, Coach Jim Bischoff